Tempus Fugit

Time Flies…

   Mar 15

Hue the years…

I am not sure how swayed my memory of the past is by media such as television but it seems to me that each decade bears a different hue.

The eighties I recall as yellow…the nineties were light blue and the noughties are darker blue.

What drugs am I on?

Actually what triggered my thoughts on such an asinine topic was my recent outing to the cinemas to see Rent – the motion picture interpretation of the Broadway musical.

I saw Rent when I was in New York in 1999.  It has since become one of my favourite musicals.

Consequently I did not know what to expect of the silverscreen portrait.

Initially I was offended and bemused.  I thought it to be utter crap and a travesty to such an awesome (and Pulitzer prize winning) work.  It took me a while to work out what it was that was not quite right.

Then it dawned on me – deliberate or not, the movie was directed in a 1980s style.  It was almost as if I was watching a film that had been made in 1989 (when the story was based).  The bad acting (what do you expect when you put singers – the original broadway cast – on screen), cinematographic techniques, filmstock and set dressing all smacked of a music video seen on Countdown – right down to the pre-recorded vocal tracks that sounded completely studio-created in spite of the fact they were being sung in downtown New York.

I’m not sure if it was intended to be this way but fuck me it was effective in adding an impressive dimension to the film that would otherwise have been lacking.  I can see though that if the film were critiqued without this in mind, it would be easy to bag it as a badly choreographed fame-esque singalong complete with bad 80s haircuts.  I do wonder if perhaps the story (which is a modernisation of La Boehme) would have been better portrayed with less of the music (which is better suited to the stage interpretation).
So what to make of this overall….good or bad?  I honestly don’t know.  It was not what I had been expecting and I am not sure if I like what I saw.  I think it will require seeing again going in without whatever preconceptions I’d had.

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